Target Beauty Box – Hello Hydration

I had no plans on purchasing another one of these boxes any time soon. But when I saw that this was available last month for $7 (originally $10), I gave in. This box featured hair and skin care products to help “kick the winter blahs”. Yes, we’re already into Spring, but I’m still feeling the after effects of the previous season, especially with the weird weather that’s still lingering here in the Bay Area. Let’s check out what I received (prices listed for these products are for their full size in USD).

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Gliss Ultimate Repair Shampoo & Conditioner ($5.49 each) –  The keratin formula claims to restore hair’s strength while also preventing future damage. I’ve only used this once since getting my hair straightened a few weeks ago. So far the scent isn’t bad, although it could be a tad lighter. My ends are already dry as is, but this might prove to be more beneficial after I have a trim.

 

L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Masks ($9.99) – Although I’m not an avid face mask user, I’ve been curious about these. Glad I’m able to sample all 3 of them. Hopefully I’ll like at least 1 so I can purchase it in full size. The masks contain 3 pure clays and come in 3 types:

Purify & Mattify w/ Eucalyptus

Detox & Brighten w/ Charcoal

Exfoliate & Refine Pores w/ Red Algae

 

Masque Bar Hydrating Face Mask – I’ve mentioned previously that I’m not the type to use a mask regularly, but this one I’m willing to try. I do love a good peel-off mask! Formulated with aloe, collagen, and vitamin E, it hydrates skin resulting in a youthful glow.

 

Raw Sugar Coconut & Mango Body Wash – This smells like being on a tropical vacation, but not overpoweringly so. Still have yet to use it.

 

Soap and Glory Face Soap & Clarity Face Wash – This 3-in-1 cleanser with yuzu claims to “purify, smooth and brighten skin”. It has a light, clean scent and my face felt nice after using it.

 

Sun Bum Sunless Self-Tanning Towelette – I already know this is going to be used on my legs because they are the one part of my body that does not tan. Why is that?! Fingers crossed that this doesn’t turn them orange.

 

W3LL People Expressionist Mini Mascara – The botanical blend nourishes lashes and is also 100% cruelty, coal tar, and aluminum free. I wanted to like this since it wasn’t clumpy when I applied it. Unfortunately, after checking myself in the mirror following the event that I attended that evening, it was a bit of a smudge fest under my eyes (boo).

 

I’m pretty satisfied with more than half of I received, so I feel that it was worth the investment. I have another Target box on the way, so I’ll review that hopefully by the end of the month. Did you happen to get the Hello Hydration box? Let me know what you think of it.

Influenster’s Rosy VoxBox

The Rosy VoxBox from Influenster came with 5 beauty and self-care products. These were sent to me compliments of Influenster to try and review. Here are my thoughts on what I received. Suggested retail prices for these items are listed in USD.

Fancy Feet Ball of Foot Cushions ($5.49)  – Ever had a moment when your toes started feeling squished from your feet sliding forward in your shoes? These cushions were made to prevent that from happening. They also allow for shock absorption and are made of a breathable, antimicrobial material. I have no immediate plans to use these just yet, but I might bring them along on my trip next month just in case I need them.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray ($7.00 full size, $3.00 travel size) – As a fan of the NYM brand, I was curious to see how this would work on my hair. It has a tropical banana scent, which was thankfully subtle. I sprayed this in my hair before putting it up in a bun. When I let it down later in the day, I had nice loose waves. The spray wasn’t sticky and didn’t leave my hair stiff. All NYM products are formulated free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and gluten.

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals ($1.59 – $1.79 for 2 oz.) – I’m one of those people who needs to have sanitizer with me, especially when I’m out and about. This contains 93% naturally derived ingredients and natural fragrance thanks to essential oils. It’s nice to keep the germs away while not being paranoid about what you’re using to do it.

 

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant ($7.99) – I’ve tried this deodorant years ago, but I don’t remember how it performed. It’s possible this version has been re-formulated since then. I applied this prior to an intense workout and it was pretty effective. Of course a bit of sweat was evident in my underarm area, but no signs of BO.

Vera Wang Embrace ($29.99) – I received sample sizes of this fragrance in 2 scents: Marigold and Gardenia and Rose Buds and Vanilla. The first is a fruity floral that includes notes of melon and soft musk. The second is a floral oriental including notes of mandarin oil and sweet magnolia. I loved the latter the most since it was surprisingly light. The first one was nice, but I’m not the biggest fan of “warm” fragrances. Usually anything with the scent of rose in it tends to come off a bit strong, but not with this fragrance. I used it prior to an event I attended, but sadly I had no idea that the container broke and the remaining contents of it spilled in my purse. That alone further proved how (not-so) intense the scent was. I was a bit sad to throw it out, but the inside of my purse smelled nice. I  even aired it out for a day, which wasn’t really necessary. Despite that unfortunate event, I plan on purchasing Rose Buds and Vanilla in its full size.

 

I loved everything from this Vox Box and hope to receive another one again from Influenster in the near future. If you’re active on social media and are interested in trying out free products in exchange for honest reviews, you can sign up on Influenster’s website.

Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty: It’s Back!

Starting Sunday March 19 through Saturday April 8th, Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty event returns. Each day will feature an awesome deal for select product(s), with the special pricing valid for that particular day only and while supplies last. Although I have no plans to swoop up anything this time around *gasp*, I will take advantage of their Hot Buys which will last throughout the duration of the  21 Days event. I can finally snatch up a few of those bareMinerals  matte liquid lip colors I’ve had on the wish list for some time! Check out what products will be part of the event here, and the rest of their Hot Buys here.

Tagged: 15 Beauty Questions

It’s been ages since I’ve posted a blog tag! Hey Sharonoox put this up the other day, and I wanted to share my answers as well. I’ve also included links to the products I use.

 1. What is your daily skin care routine?

Morning – I cleanse my face with micellar water (Bioderma Sebium is my HG). Once dry, I apply Lush’s Grease Lightning on my T-zone. Last but not least is the moisturizer. I currently use one from Cetaphil.

Evening – If I’m feeling lazy (yes, it happens), I use micellar water again and that’s it. Otherwise, it’s either Cerave’s Foaming Facial Cleanser or The Body Shop’s Tea Tree face wash. This is followed by an eye cream (currently using the Redefine Multi-Function Eye Cream from Rodan + Fields) and my customized treatment from Curology (I’ll write a post about my experience with them in the near future).

2. What is your weekly skin care routine?

While in the shower, I’ll either use St. Ive’s Green Tea Scrub or my Clarisonic Mia with a foamy cleanser. Right now it’s the Naive Peach one. Just a little bit creates a good amount of lather. Love it!

Although I have quite a few sheet masks on hand, I don’t get around to using them. I’m lucky if I do that even once a month. I should also get back into using pore strips on a weekly basis.

 

 3. How do you prep your face for makeup?

Cleanse with either micellar water or facial cleanser, moisturize with Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel-Cream (another HG of mine), then apply primer. I alternate between primers for my face (Hourglass and Wet n Wild), and use Urban Decay’s Original Primer Potion for the eyes.

4. How do you take off your makeup?

For light makeup – This Garnier micellar water is great for removing waterproof mascara and liquid lipstick. I follow this with my Body Shop facial wash. Technically I don’t have to wash my face afterward, but seeing as this particular micellar water is bi-phase, I do feel somewhat of a residue after I’ve removed everything. This is why I only use it for this purpose and not on my whole face.

For a fully made up face – The eye makeup and lip color are the first to go with this awesome Clinique remover. Then I use Yes to cleansing wipes  for the rest of the face, followed by a facial cleanser.

5. What are some DIY face masks?

This is not an area of expertise for me, but I’ve tried one using egg whites, honey, and oatmeal. I honestly forgot what it helped with since I tried it a long time ago.

6. What are some inexpensive makeup brushes?

I’ve had my misses with this brand, but e.l.f. brushes are actually pretty good. Been reaching for their blush brush often when I actually take the time to apply makeup.

 7. Do you prefer matte or shimmer eyeshadows?

I am mad about matte when it comes to certain makeup products, but I don’t mind a little shimmer as long as it’s not overpowering or heavy. I own a few of Urban Decay’s shadow palettes, which have just the right amount.

Current fave: Urban Decay NAKED3 Palette

8. Do you prefer matte or dewy skin?

Having combo skin, I constantly keep my t-zone area in check (gotta love that midday oil slick *sarcasm*). I don’t mind a bit of dewiness on my cheeks since that area can get dry, especially during the cold months.

9. Do you prefer matte or shiny lipstick / lip gloss?

 With liquid lipsticks being recently high on the hype radar, I’ve been experimenting with a few brands. Majority of them are matte and tend to be drying, so I don’t usually wear them unless I’m not at work. Despite that, I’ll always have a devotion to glosses.

Current fave: Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in Amulet

 10. Lipstick, Gloss, Lip Stain, Balm, or Lip Liner?

 Lipstick for special occasions/when I feel like it.

Lip balm everyday, especially one with SPF.

Lip liner is a must for me before applying either tube or liquid lipstick.

Lip gloss whenever, if I happen to have it with me.

 

 

11. What type of coverage do you prefer from a foundation?

If I don’t have to use it, then I won’t. But I do have it on hand for special occasions. I prefer medium coverage. Otherwise, I prefer a BB cushion if I want enough coverage just to even out my face.

Current faves: Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liqid Foundation, Laneige BB Cushion

12. What cosmetic brands have you always wanted to try, but haven’t?

I’ve grown interested in Korean beauty after trying out a few brands. Etude House and Holika Holika are on my list at the moment.

 

13. Do you wear fake lashes?

Hardly ever, but I own at least 5 pairs of them. I don’t have the best hand at applying them. Eyelure’s pre-glued lashes came in very handy  when I wore them along with my cosplays at SDCC. I don’t see them around much anymore.

 

14. What type of product do you buy the most of?

Easy, anything for the lips. I own more lip product than pairs of shoes or black items of clothing. Seriously!

15. Do you like trying new skincare products or do you keep a certain routine?

I’ll sometimes come across something from a trusted brand that I’d like to try out. I’d purchase it and either alternate using it with a similar product I already have, or finish the previous one beforehand.

I won’t be tagging anyone in this post, but I’d love to know your answers if you decide to fill this out as well.

 

Urban Decay Mini Haul

I’m currently in the midst of a no-buy for this month, and I’ve been doing a-OK (I do, however, have a list going of things I’d like to get once it’s done). I wanted to share a few items from Urban Decay that I made sure to order before the end of January.

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L-R: NAKED Nail Color in Instinct, Vice Liquid Lipstick in Amulet, Vice Liquid Lipstick in Trivial

NAKED Nail Color in Instinct – I was happy to see the nail color I wasn’t able to get in a previous order back in stock. The shade is described as a medium pink taupe with a hint of pearl. Very pretty.

Vice Liquid Lipsticks in Amulet and Trivial – I didn’t go too crazy when these released since the shade selection wasn’t as wide as its regular lipstick predecessors. But I will say that these have awesome staying power and comfortable wear. Yes, I do have Amulet in both tube and liquid forms because I love this brick rose shade so darn much. You can’t blame me once you see the swatch! Trivial is a pink nude, and much pinker than I had expected. I unfortunately experienced the dreaded “look at all my lip lines” result with this one since it’s a lighter shade. If you’re reading this post have a good rec on a lip primer/filler that can lessen this issue, I’d really appreciate it! I tried using it again over UD’s Ultimate Ozone pencil, and it looked only slightly better.

 

 

Moondust  Eyeshadow in Extragalactic  – This was thrown into my order as a bonus item. Described as black with red sparkle, it’s a beaut to look at. As for wearing it, I’m not sure if I’d be able to pull this off. Maybe I’ll try it blended into my lower lid. I giggled to myself when I saw the shade name because it made me immediately think of Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys.

 

Check out the swatches:

 

Have you tried any of these products out? If so, let me know what you think of them.

Kira Kira Crate, Volume 3

The 3rd crate for this subscription will be the last one for me. I’ve accumulated so much product between this and past beauty subscriptions that I can take a break from them for a good while. For those unfamiliar with this crate, it is the latest to be added to Japan Crate’s lineup of subscription boxes. Every month, between 6-8 products are delivered to your door directly from Japan. Sometimes there’s a few Korean beauty items thrown in as well. A booklet with information about the products and how to use them is also included. The price for this subscription is $29/month before shipping and taxes.

 

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What’s inside:

Avance Tweety Eyeliner – As cheesy as it seems to have a cartoon character on a makeup product, this looks pretty legit. I’m not the best with handling pen liners, but the felt/brush tip on this one might make this one easy to use.

Biyou Shoukan Towel Set – They look like wipes, but instead they’re cloths meant for drying your face after washing it. I like that there’s a good amount in the package (20 sheets), so I plan to take this with me on an upcoming trip.

Dear Laura Lip Gloss – This reminded me of a Caboodles lip gloss that I used to own years ago, except the packaging of the tube was different and it was Strawberry flavored. This one is flavorless, fragrance free, and leaves a slight pink tint. I dig the cute bunny on it.

Hot Gel Face Mask – The initial question to myself when I looked at this was, “Why on earth would I want hot gel on my face?”. It’s actually a warming mask that can be used on the face or upper body, preferably while taking a bath. I tried this while in the shower and felt the warming effect immediately, which was tolerable and not anywhere near hot (thank goodness). My face cooled down when I massaged it before rinsing the mask off, and it felt wonderfully smooth afterward.

Mebika Hair Care – This packet contains a shampoo and conditioning mask. Unfortunately I couldn’t tell one from the other since it has Japanese written on it. I’ll eventually find out once I decide to use it.

Pure Smile Red Wine face mask – Another face mask to add to my growing collection. I’m intrigued by this one, but I’m probably going to be disappointed in that it doesn’t contain any actual wine. Could you imagine how relaxed you would be if it really did have it? OK, maybe not that much. Why not take it up a notch and actually have a glass while you wear it? I like that idea.

Teapod Hand Cream – In addition to face masks, I’ve also managed to gather up a small arsenal of hand cream. I should be using them since my hands have been getting drier than usual due to the cold weather. This was offered in either Earl Grey, Lemon, or Rose scents. I received the rose one which smells like the real deal. I’m curious about the Earl Grey since I love the tea itself. Maybe I’ll snag it if I ever come across it.

The variety in this box was nice compared to the first 2 boxes I received for this sub. I’m sad that I’ll have to discontinue it, but I feel it’s good for the price, especially if it includes free shipping from another country. Do you subscribe to this box? Let me know what you think of it. More info about the Kira Kira Crate subscription can be found here.

Birthday Beauty Bonuses and Hauls

I’m in the process of prepping to do a beauty no-buy for the month of February. Since this is my birthday month, I’ve done a little gathering here and there of a few products before that starts. I see myself being OK with the makeup part since I use it sparingly, so the real challenge will focus more on what I use often. Here’s what I obtained during the birthday week.

 

Sephora

I’m always excited to see what Sephora has to offer for their birthday freebies. This time around, Beauty Insiders have their choice between a mini set from Caudalie or tarte. My skin care routine is pretty much set, so I opted for the tarte duo. It contains a 1ml Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit and a 1.5g Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty. Loved how both of the shades looked, although the lip paint is appears darker when applied compared to how it looks in the tube. I think this is the best freebie I’ve gotten from Sephora to date.

 

In past years, I would just head to the nearest store location to redeem for the gift, but I added the set to an order I placed online. This crossed a few more things off of my loves list. Luckily the other products I still have on there aren’t limited edition, so I can hold off on purchasing them for another time (e.g. after my no-buy month). Here’s what I got:

Escada Agua Del Sol rollerball – Is it just me, or do most of Escada’s fragrances smell similar? I had a slight obsession with them in past years, but tapered off due to that fact. I did purchase this one because it was limited edition and only available online. Notes for this one are mandarin, apricot nectar, and sandalwood. They also have another limited edition fragrance at Ulta in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Will I cop it? All signs point to…probably.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (0.33oz) – I agree with a fellow blogger that a little of this goes a long way, so buying their full size would not do justice for me, especially since I don’t reach for it often. Plus the miniature size is easy to toss in my makeup bag when I travel. I consider it one of my HG primers.

Lavanilla The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit – I’ve been using a more natural deodorant towards the end of last year and have been loving it. I liked the scent of this when I checked it out in store, so I bought it to alternate with what I already have. Hopefully it’ll also do a good job with reducing odor.

Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette in Softlight – Upon first viewing the Cover Shot palettes online, I wasn’t sure whether I’d actually invest in one. But I found them to be the perfect size for travel when I saw them in person. I picked the one that’s probably the least popular in terms of shade selection and wear. I’ll have to see for myself after trying out a look or two with it. Thankfully Sephora has a great return policy if it happens to not be worth the investment.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in TMI – This was the last to be checked off of my Vice lipstick wish list. The shade is a sheer mauve-pink.

 

Ulta

The birthday swag from Ulta is either hit or miss. I still have a shadow palette that I got from them probably over 2 years ago that’s still unopened. *shrugs* However, I did hop on this year’s giveaway since 1) it’s from Benefit and 2) it’s their Porefessional primer, which I’ve been curious about. I also added a blending sponge since I plan to dispose of my somewhat neglected Real Techniques one soon, and also grabbed one of the new NYX Lip Lingerie lip colors in French Maid since they’ve added 12 new shades to the current lineup.

 

I also placed an order for Urban Decay’s Vice liquid lipsticks that released last week. Will get a post up on those once I have them. If you have any of the products featured here, let me know your thoughts on them.